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Is Samsung Pay safe?

Don't worry (too much) about mobile payment security.
By
October 29, 2022

Samsung Pay is a mobile payment app available exclusively on Samsung smartphones and smartwatches, making it easy to make quick purchases on the go. It’s convenient and lets you leave your wallet behind. But many users might be wary about saving their card information on a device that others might access or could be lost or stolen. So, is Samsung Pay safe?

Read more: How to set up and use Samsung Pay

QUICK ANSWER

Yes, Samsung Pay is safe. The app doesn't store your actual card information and uses tokenization to create a unique identifier used to complete transactions. You also cannot make a purchase without first authenticating it with a PIN, pattern, fingerprint, or face scan. Samsung phones also come with Knox to protect your phone from malware and other security threats.


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How secure is Samsung Pay?

Samsung Wallet smartphone app
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Samsung provides as much security as possible with Samsung Pay to ensure that your private financial information is safe. Knox, Samsung’s multi-layer software protection system, protects your phone from malware and other security threats and keeps personal info like passwords, card information, biometrics, and more secure.

The Samsung Pay app uses tokenization to secure your card data. In simple terms, tokenization replaces your card info with another unique identifier that is then used to complete the transaction on the payment network. When you add a card to Samsung Pay, you will see a different number under your card called the Digital card number. If anyone requires the last four digits of your card to verify a transaction, this is the number you’ll provide instead of your actual card details.

samsung pay digital card
Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

Your actual card information isn’t saved or accessed by Samsung, with the app using the created token for transactions. Samsung Pay will only show the last four digits of your card number on the image to make it easier to find and manage if you add multiple cards.

Samsung ensures that every step when using Samsung Pay is safe as well. You will need to authorize every transaction with a PIN, pattern, fingerprint, or iris scan before completing a purchase. When you add a card, the bank or card provider verifies it with an OTP (one-time password) to ensure that someone isn’t adding your stolen card to their Samsung Pay.

Is Samsung Pay the same as using my contactless card?

Credit cards and debit cards stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Using Samsung Pay is similar to using your contactless card, but not the same. You can use Samsung Pay at an NFC-enabled payment terminal, but you’ll need the physical card in case you need to swipe it or use the chip reader. You’ll still need a physical card to pay at gas stations or to withdraw money at ATMs. While Samsung Pay is widely accepted, some stores still don’t support it. For example, Walmart doesn’t accept payments from any app other than Walmart Pay.

Samsung Pay on older phones comes with MST (magnetic secure transmission) support, which would let you pay at non-NFC card readers. But this feature doesn’t work in specific markets like the US anymore and isn’t available on newer Samsung phones since the Galaxy S21 series.

What is the difference between Samsung Pay and Google Pay or Apple Pay?

Google Pay stock photos 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

There’s not a lot that’s different between Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay as far as mobile payments and security are concerned. The most significant difference is availability. Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are only available on the company’s respective devices. On the other hand, Google Pay works on any Android smartphone, including Samsung’s, but has limited features on iOS (you can’t make in-store payments). If you have an Apple device, your best option is Apple Pay.

Because of MST, Samsung Pay used to have a leg up over other payment services, but that feature is slowly being phased out and isn’t available on newer Samsung smartphones.

Apple Pay 3
Joe Hindy / Android Authority

All three work about the same when it comes to making in-store payments. All three also let you add credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and store loyalty cards, with a similar number of supported banks and cards. But Google Pay and Apple Pay have the advantage with online payments. The two services are far more widely accepted for making purchases at online stores, while Samsung Pay’s online payment availability is quite limited.

What if I lose my phone?

Even if you lose your phone, it’ll be difficult for someone to use the payment app without knowing your Samsung Pay PIN. However, you can use Samsung’s Find My Mobile app to locate your phone and remotely erase all your data, including Samsung Pay.

To use this feature, you must first enable it on your phone. Go to Settings > Biometrics and security > Find my mobile and toggle it on. You should also enable Send last location and Offline finding to make your phone easier to track. The ability to erase your phone’s data is only available if Find My Mobile is enabled.

samsunf find my mobile
Ankit Banerjee / Android Authority

Log in to Find My Mobile with your Samsung account. Once the app locates your phone, select Lock and Erase to wipe your phone remotely.


Read more: How to remove a card from Samsung Pay

FAQs

If you ever lose your physical card and cancel it with the bank, Samsung Pay will automatically freeze and block it in the app.

No, Samsung Pay doesn’t have access to your bank account and doesn’t store your card information on its system.

If you send your phone to an authorized Samsung dealer, the phone will be factory reset. The factory reset will erase your Samsung Pay information and all other data.

Check out our guide on how to change your reset your Samsung Pay PIN. If you’ve forgotten your PIN, you will need to reset the Samsung Pay app and set everything up from scratch.